Eat Drink & Be Mary: How far is too far?

2.25.2014

How far is too far?

I know I usually share a recipe on Tuesdays, but today I have some questions that have filled my head and my heart.  And so I come to this blank white screen, ready to puts my thoughts into words, ask questions I haven't dared to ask out loud, and come to you for help.  If you're looking for a recipe fix, head on over to the Delicious Dish Tuesday link up I am co-hosting.  

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So today I want to ask you friends, how far is too far?  

Not too long ago, a friend presented me with her situation.  A situation I sort of suspected, but it was a shock nonetheless, but what was to come after was an even bigger shock.  Her course of actions took me off guard, and were against everything I believe in.  So here I was stuck between a rock and a hard place.  Wanting to give my friend the support she was receiving from no one else in her life, trying to give her words of encouragement, but at the same time trying to shed some light on the situation.  To remind her that actions have consequences.  Consequences she was not considering, and not realizing their long term effects.

I was the one person who was trying to see her side of the situation because others who should have refused to.  They were only voicing their wants, their selfish wants.  Knowing this I didn't want to scare her away.  She needed someone to be there for her, to be sad and feel for her, and to have her back when it all unraveled.  

How could I support her and give her my opinion, without overstepping my boundaries.  Without pushing her farther away to a place where she had no one backing her up.  How far is too far, when I'm trying to offer guidance without voicing my own beliefs and opinions.  How far is too far, when NOT standing up for what I believe in.  

So friends, how far is too far?  What would you do in this situation?  When you want to support your friend, but her decisions are going against everything you believe in?  But is it even your place to say anything?  Or to just nod your head and comfort your confused friend?

amen

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**Sorry for all the vague-ness.  But I do not wish to put my friend's situation on display for the internet to read about.  Nor do I wish to reveal her identity or decisions.  Please respect my wish to keep this situation in it's entirety anonymous. 

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14 comments:

  1. This seems very challenging. First I would say when the situation involves 2 believers (in Jesus Christ) then you have EVERY right to hold your sister in Christ accountable if there is sin involved. The bible tells us that iron sharpens iron. It is up to us to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ and part of the is to NOT allow them to live in sin. You wouldnt be a true friend if you did allow it. On the other hand, if you friend is not a believer then she can not be held to the standard of the word of God. In that case you simply love her where she is at. You can express that you don't agree with her choices but you love her as a person anyway. Praying that the Lord would give you the right words to say to your friend. :-)

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    1. Agree 100% with everything said above... wonderfully put, Tiffany!

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    2. Love the way Tiffany put this and I agree.

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    3. I am in love with Tiffany's answer. I agree 100%!

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  2. That is a tough one. I think all you can do is be there for her. You can ask her leading questions that make he think about the long term consequences like "Have you thought about what you would do if this (X,Y or Z) happens. Ultimately they will make their own choices and you can only just be there for her o matter what she chooses. Good luck, that is a tough spot to be in.

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  3. I went through a situation similar to this, and I would take a close look at your relationship before you do anything. If this is someone you really, truly value in your life then you need to keep your mouth shut until she asks for your input and then give her your opinion in the least pushy, most supportive way you can. If the relationship isn't one you treasure, perhaps consider backing away and letting things take their course. It's usually better to be completely uninvolved with something you're not okay with than to play jump rope with your boundaries. Good luck. :-)

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  4. First of all, I totally agree with Tiffany's response. Well put, girl! I think sometimes, it's tough being a friend who has such strong believes, and you see those around you (who you really, really love) do things you don't agree with at. all. I've been there, and it's really tough. In my experience, I've learned it's often most supporting to simply be there for your friend. Be present. It sounds like she doesn't have a lot of people in her court right now, and if you're strong enough to listen to her and provide that support, then to me that makes you an AWESOME friend. I've also learned (like Katie mentions above) that often, it's tough to give you honest opinion unless it's actually asked for. I've tried offering supportive, but honest advice in the past, and it hasn't ended well, even though our relationship is fabulous. I've learned to simply be the support my friend may not be getting elsewhere, and if they ask for your honest opinion and advice on the situation, then find a gentle, non-threatening way to respond, while still being honest and true to your own believes and values. Good luck, Mary! I've been there, and it's definitely a tough situation! Thinking of you and your friend! xo

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  5. It honestly sounds like everyone else has given the advice I would give, so all I can say is I'm thinking of you and your friend- she's blessed to have such a considerate person in her life!

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  6. It's tough to say without knowing the exact situation, but I had the same thing happen to me a couple of years ago. My friend was confiding things in me that I didn't necessarily think were right. I ended up telling her that I felt uncomfortable and didn't want to know what was happening any longer. I was very respectful and clear that she was still my friend, but I think it is reasonable to remove yourself from the situation if you are not comfortable with it. She will have to find someone else to help and support her in that case.

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  7. Man I hate situations like that - for me, I always try to take the approach that I would want someone to take with me. For me what would be honesty - if she's really asking for your opinion, then as her friend, you have a duty to tell her.

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  8. Situations like these are always so hard. I've learned that sometimes just being there for you friend can help tremendously and letting them ramble. Praying for you!

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  9. That is certainly tough! I can totally relate too. I had concerns about my friend that I wasn't sure if I should share or not, so I kept it bottled in for weeks till one day I just let it all out and ended up hurting her feelings just because I did wait so long to say something. We worked it out in the end, but I regret not speaking up right away. I think when it comes to delicate situations involving a good friend, we do need to be open and honest with our assesment of the situation, but at the same time, be able to accept that it's someone else's life in the end and let them do what they're going to go. Say your piece in a loving way, but then step back and just truly be there for her, whether she listens or not. That's a good friend, I think. Good luck!

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